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Glass half-empty at halfway point

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Old
01-10-2012, 11:01 AM
  #1
Sabretip
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Glass half-empty at halfway point

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BUFFALO — “I know the expectations are sky high. We’ve brought in the best possible players we can to make ourselves a better team. Now it’s growing as a team and going through what is going to be an extremely hard season, but having the expectations that we should be able to contend for the Cup.”

— Buffalo Sabres coach Lindy Ruff, Sept. 16, 2011

Back when the Sabres began training camp and their much-anticipated 2011-12 season, optimism ran rampant, possibly at an all-time high.

The Sabres had enjoyed a wild second-half run last season, becoming an elite club. Then owner Terry Pegula spent freely during his first offseason.

Why not talk about challenging for the Stanley Cup?

Nearly four months later, the Sabres are a mess. Few would argue they’re the NHL’s biggest disappointment exactly halfway through the season.

Forty-one points (18-18-5) has them mired in 11th place, five behind the Maple Leafs for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot entering tonight’s tilt against their rival at the Air Canada Centre.

A third straight postseason appearance seems iffy.
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Their 105 goals (2.6 a game) has them on pace for only 210. They’ve never scored fewer than 231 times post-lockout. They have just 34 tallies in 17 road games.

With the exception of Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek, nearly every player’s struggling, most notably franchise goalie Ryan Miller, whose awful 3.05 goals-against average is nearly half a goal more than his career average.
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“We had high expectations at the start of the year. We knew that,” said Sabres center Derek Roy, who has only eight goals and 24 points. “Going forward now there’s low expectations. So now it’s easier to play. We just play loose, play fun. Go out there and play hard. I think scoring goals has been a key factor this season. The goal scorers got to go out and execute.”


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Some players aren’t just experiencing off seasons, they’re downright bad.

A short list:

• It was reasonable to think winger Drew Stafford, who scored 31 times in 62 games last season, could hit 30 again and possibly flirt with 40. But Stafford has only seven goals in 40 games. He’s not even close to a 20-goal man.

• In his first full NHL season, Cody McCormick contributed eight goals and 20 points while being the team’s designated fighter. That earned the winger a three-year, $3.6 million contract.

This season, McCormick has zero goals, two points, a minus-7 rating and just sat twice as a healthy scratch.

The big free agents — defenseman Christian Ehrhoff and forward Ville Leino — have underperformed, too.
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Seventeen players have missed action in two months. Overall, the Sabres have 183 man games lost to injury this season.
http://niagara-gazette.com/prosports...-halfway-point

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01-10-2012, 11:05 AM
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fightclubber25
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trade stafford and roy then fire lindy?..??


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01-10-2012, 11:10 AM
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S319R11S16
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“We had high expectations at the start of the year. We knew that,” said Sabres center Derek Roy, who has only eight goals and 24 points. “Going forward now there’s low expectations. So now it’s easier to play. We just play loose, play fun. Go out there and play hard. I think scoring goals has been a key factor this season. The goal scorers got to go out and execute.”
Well there you have it.

Can't tell me that dude gives a **** about anything here.

Nothing that is surprising, he just basically proved what we all thought all along.

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01-10-2012, 11:17 AM
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Before the Hate-on-Roy Train leaves the station, I think he's just trying to say the team needs to play looser. They wilted under the heat of expectations.

Whatever. Why am I even trying to stop it? People are going to ***** about him, anyways.

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01-10-2012, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Zip15 View Post
Before the Hate-on-Roy Train leaves the station, I think he's just trying to say the team needs to play looser. They wilted under the heat of expectations.

Whatever. Why am I even trying to stop it? People are going to ***** about him, anyways.
EXPECTATIONS ARE LOW?

**** THAT.

Can't handle expectations then GTFO and go play somewhere where nobody cares about hockey.

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01-10-2012, 11:18 AM
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I know what Roy's getting at, but what an awful quote.

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01-10-2012, 11:25 AM
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I literally laughed out loud at Roy's quote. Glad to see you're in your comfort zone now, Derek.

That's great, guys.

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01-10-2012, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by iciclesonapapershelf View Post
I know what Roy's getting at, but what an awful quote.
Agreed, poor word choice. But I think we all know what he's trying to say. (Not that this will stop anyone from complaining, so proceed.)

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01-10-2012, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zip15 View Post
Before the Hate-on-Roy Train leaves the station, I think he's just trying to say the team needs to play looser. They wilted under the heat of expectations.

Whatever. Why am I even trying to stop it? People are going to ***** about him, anyways.
To be honest, right now the Hate Train should be almost full.
Whether the quote was taken out of context (typically happens) or not, that's a pretty dumb thing to say to fans who are shelling out $$ to come watch Roy in his comfort zone this season.

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01-10-2012, 11:29 AM
  #10
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Originally Posted by Crazy Tasty View Post
To be honest, right now the Hate Train should be almost full.
Whether the quote was taken out of context (typically happens) or not, that's a pretty dumb thing to say to fans who are shelling out $$ to come watch Roy in his comfort zone this season.
Exactly why I'm pissed.

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01-10-2012, 11:32 AM
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Maybe Roy's quote gets to one of the big reasons they had so much success post-holidays. The pressure was off, and more importantly, the Sabres were viewed as speed bumps by other teams. How many teams played down to the Sabres' level, how many teams started their backups against the Sabres? A lot, I am guessing.

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01-10-2012, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zip15 View Post
Before the Hate-on-Roy Train leaves the station, I think he's just trying to say the team needs to play looser. They wilted under the heat of expectations.
Agreed. I know what he means, but that quote's not going to do him any favors.

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01-10-2012, 11:35 AM
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Zip15
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Originally Posted by jamers View Post
Agreed. I know what he means, but that quote's not going to do him any favors.
I agree. He would've been better off saying that he hopes teams underestimate them, but the team needs to play looser and stop squeezing their sticks so much. Anyone who has ever read one of his tweets knows he's not the sharpest knife.

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01-10-2012, 02:14 PM
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Sabretip
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The Roy comment is frustrating not so much that he specifically was the one to make it but that, in the context of the overall team, it underscores what so many have said and felt about the core and leaders on the team for the past several years: they have problems handling pressure or high expectations, be it playing in front of the home crowd, protecting leads, overcoming adversity or ultimately, living up to the expectations of contending that the new ownership boldly put in place. Whether it was Roy or Miller, Vanek, Pominville, Gaustad or Stafford to say it, it was a public admission of feeling more comfortable when there's no pressure to succeed - which may be human nature but is counter to what competition sport is always about IMO.

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01-10-2012, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Zip15 View Post
He would've been better off saying that he hopes teams underestimate them, but the team needs to play looser and stop squeezing their sticks so much.
If nothing else, the underdog role seems to have often been one many of the players - and Ruff - prefer working in. Just like last year, when most counted them out at the halfway point, many aren't optimistic of their status moving forward.

Whether or not they'll play better with reduced expectations like they did last season remains to be seen.

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01-10-2012, 03:18 PM
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If Roy doesn't want any expectations, he's welcome to come and skate in my backyard any time he likes (provided that the $(%^)*^#$ backyard rink ever freezes). If he's going to be skating with a team that I'm paying to see, the I'll still expect him to stop sucking.

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01-10-2012, 03:21 PM
  #17
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I don't see anything wrong with what he said.

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01-10-2012, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabretip View Post
The Roy comment is frustrating not so much that he specifically was the one to make it but that, in the context of the overall team, it underscores what so many have said and felt about the core and leaders on the team for the past several years: they have problems handling pressure or high expectations, be it playing in front of the home crowd, protecting leads, overcoming adversity or ultimately, living up to the expectations of contending that the new ownership boldly put in place. Whether it was Roy or Miller, Vanek, Pominville, Gaustad or Stafford to say it, it was a public admission of feeling more comfortable when there's no pressure to succeed - which may be human nature but is counter to what competition sport is always about IMO.
Well put. Pommers and Vanek seem to have come to a point where they can handle it and still produce, and obviously Miller has carried the team for years, but the rest of the team seems to have wilted right away from the goal of winning the Cup.

I'm not one to advocate change for the sake of change when there's nothing to be gained, but I'm firmly of the opinion that an attitude adjustment toward meeting challenges head on needs to happen before we'll see continual success.

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01-10-2012, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zip15 View Post
I agree. He would've been better off saying that he hopes teams underestimate them, but the team needs to play looser and stop squeezing their sticks so much. Anyone who has ever read one of his tweets knows he's not the sharpest knife.
So true

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01-10-2012, 07:27 PM
  #20
jlr
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Originally Posted by MillerFan1 View Post
Well there you have it.

Can't tell me that dude gives a **** about anything here.

Nothing that is surprising, he just basically proved what we all thought all along.
Yeah, those comments from Roy are just rage-inducing.

I have a sudden urge to find out exactly what size and quantity of flipflop will fit in that little twerp's colon. Get the **** off my team, nancy boy.

I'd trade Roy for just about anything right now. No more of this "we need a center coming back" BS. Roy out, a box of day old donuts in? Done.

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01-10-2012, 07:36 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zip15 View Post
Before the Hate-on-Roy Train leaves the station, I think he's just trying to say the team needs to play looser. They wilted under the heat of expectations.

Whatever. Why am I even trying to stop it? People are going to ***** about him, anyways.
And you think what he said doesn't deserve criticism? That's OK for our supposed "#1 center" to not be able to even handle expectations in the regular season, much less actually show up and play under real pressure?

The guy's a mental midget who's completely worthless in the playoffs, now that he can't hide behind legit top six talent. 7 games played, nothing to show for it but 3 lousy assists, and we shouldn't give him **** for caving under the pressure of... preseason expectations?

**** that, and **** him. Dude gets to play hockey for millions of dollars a year, and not being able to handle the pressure is a legit excuse for sucking? Take a few deep breaths and go play your ass off Derek.


Last edited by jlr: 01-10-2012 at 07:53 PM.
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01-10-2012, 07:51 PM
  #22
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Roy is the 1%

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01-10-2012, 07:56 PM
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Sabretip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamers View Post
Well put. Pommers and Vanek seem to have come to a point where they can handle it and still produce, and obviously Miller has carried the team for years, but the rest of the team seems to have wilted right away from the goal of winning the Cup.

I'm not one to advocate change for the sake of change when there's nothing to be gained, but I'm firmly of the opinion that an attitude adjustment toward meeting challenges head on needs to happen before we'll see continual success.
Members of WGR and TBN have repeatedly lamented the core's ability to deal with pressure situations for the past 4 years - and with good reason. Pegula's promise only added another level of expectations.

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01-10-2012, 07:57 PM
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Roy is the 1%
I would like to occupy his lake home.

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01-11-2012, 07:33 AM
  #25
BackGroundMusic
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I would like to occupy his lake home.


Gorgeous.

Though I'm at the point of throwing away all the #9 memorabilia.

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